Puerto Vallarta is a Mexican beach resort city situated on the Pacific Ocean’s Bahía de Banderas. The following is a list of things to do in Puerto Vallarta, focusing on local events and festivals, that are celebrated annually.
1. Three Kings Day
On January 6th Three Kings Day is celebrated, a traditional gift-giving day when children receive gifts in honor of the Three Kings’ visit to baby Jesus. Some restaurants, hotels and Puerto Vallarta’s largest charity, The International Friendship Club, visit local hospitals and rural communities bringing toys to the children.
2. Benito Juarez Day
In March, Benito Juarez Day is celebrated, a national holiday that honors the renowned former president, who is known as the “Lincoln of Mexico”. This date coincides with the first day of Spring and the beginning of the Spring Break season.
3. The Battle of Puebla
May 5th sees one of the greatest Mexican festivals come to town, when the defeat of the French Army at Puebla in 1862, is celebrated.
4. Navy Day
Every June, celebrations are hosted in memory of those that on June 1st 1917, sailed out to Veracruz, on the first ever Mexican merchant ship. A national event since 1942, the festival occurs in all Mexican harbors, as they honor the sailors that lost their lives in duty, not only in battle, but in all activities relating to the sea.
5. Independence Day
September brings about Independence day, along with some of the best tequila. The festivities continue on this national holiday, when celebrations occur with brilliant firework displays and a parade that winds through the center of town.
6. Puerto Vallarta Art Festival
The Puerto Vallarta Art Festival is held each November, featuring a month-long series of art gallery shows and open-air, beachside theater performances. An impressive range of artwork is displayed from artists throughout Mexico. All events are free to the public.
7. Christmas Week
Christmas Week (December 16 – December 24) is celebrated all over Mexico. Families, businesses and neighborhoods celebrate the holidays with parties, known as “posadas”.
8. Whale Watching season
From December through mid-March, whale watching is a popular activity in the region. Each winter season a growing number of tourists and locals enjoy tours that take them out to see the migrating Humpback whales in Banderas Bay. Local ecotourism operators are licensed by the National Environmental Agency to ensure respectful watching of these magnificent mammals.